Ulta Beauty is piloting in-store sampling kiosks with digital ads.
Autumn is a “warm and fuzzy” season, and some retailers are making sure they give their customers that feeling using omnichannel technology.
I’m from New England, where autumn is famous for bringing crisp breezes, colorful leaves, and all manner of hot beverages and baked goods designed to warm the soul. But no matter where you’re located, this time of year is a great opportunity to make your customers feel cozy and welcomed with omnichannel innovation.
Here are three retailers bringing their customers seasonal (and seamless) comfort:
U.K.-based global fashion retailer AllSaints is rolling out a new mobile POS system this fall in an effort to improve its in-store customer experience. AllSaints is deploying the cloud-based NewStore mobile POS (mPOS) platform in more than 200 stores globally.
Because the hosted app seamlessly integrates with other components of its platform, AllSaints is able to offer more personalized and efficient interactions, regardless of channel, which it says has led to increased loyalty and sales. Other benefits include a more intuitive and interactive user experience.
Leveraging the mPOS solution, AllSaints offers personalized, high-touch shopping experiences across all channels. Store associates will obtain enhanced mobile capabilities, such as streamlined checkout and interacting with customers anywhere on the store floor using an iPhone or iPad.
In addition, via seamless integration with other components of its retail tech stack, AllSaints will utilize the mPOS solution to gain access to all customer, order, and inventory data, enabling a number of unified commerce flows.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot rolled out its proprietary mobile in-store app, called Sidekick, in January 2023, in addition to mobile devices it provides store associates called hdPhones.
Leveraging a cloud-enabled machine learning (ML) algorithm, the app guides associates to prioritize the highest-demand products. Sidekick also utilizes machine vision to identify which shelves associates should restock, and the location of excess product on overhead shelves.
In a recent exclusive interview with Chain Store Age, Home Depot explained how as the holidays are approaching this fall, Home Depot has enabled the Sidekick app to help associates them find where a missing product is and then prioritize those holes in the in the sales floor.
Those two capabilities are helping associates get better on-shelf availability for the products that customers need, warming up the autumn shopping experience.
Ulta Beauty is partnering with smart vending machine provider SOS to place interactive kiosks in select Ulta Beauty store locations across 10 cities in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, California and Texas. The SOS machines will provide a seamless sampling experience for Ultamate Rewards loyalty program members and are also intended to incentivize new member sign-ups.
The kiosks will also serve as dynamic, interactive advertising platforms using digital screens for sampling awareness, product launches and brand messaging, linked to the retailer’s UB Media network advertising partners.
Existing loyalty members can enter their phone or email at a kiosk to gain access to their Ultamate rewards account to receive a free sample, while non-member customers can sign up and create an account at the machine to receive the samples. The machines will also offer complimentary Rael period care products for shoppers.